Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief and the Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed is actively pursuing his jehadi agenda with impunity in Pakistan after his release from a ten- month house arrest under anti-terror and public safety laws. Addressing a conference to condemn Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel here, Saeed yesterday asked the US president to take back his decision. The founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, who carries a USD 10 million bounty on his head, said that declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital means declaration of a crusade war. “It is an open war against Muslims,” he said, claiming that the next target of the Jewish lobby would be Muslim holy places – Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia. “We do not have to look upon the government but to awake the people of Pakistan to raise this issue. Today, the Muslim world needs a leader like Salahuddin Ayubi as no ruler can dare to wage Jihad to liberate Jerusalem,” he said, referring to a 12th century military commander who led the Muslim campaign against the Crusader states.
Early this month, Trump announced his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital, marking a major departure from decades of American diplomacy on the Palestinian issue. Saaed also reiterated that Kashmiris will continue their struggle for freedom and India can no more suppress it. Soon after Saeed’s release last month, the White House had asked Pakistan to immediately re-arrest and prosecute the Mumbai attack mastermind.
The White House had also warned Pakistan that it will have an impact on bilateral relationship. Saeed, who is accused of having masterminded the November 2008 Mumbai attack, was placed on the terrorism black list by the United Nations in December 2008. The US too has designated him as a global terrorist. His JuD was declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.